Beat the Burn
by Kate Monko
The inevitable outcome of a day well-spent results in nothing other than…a sunburn. I am a living example of the aftermath of the sun’s “kisses” as I write this article. The computer in hand and legs bright red, I have successfully pulled off a fiery burn that is best described as tomato red flesh transitioning from burning to itching to swelling and everything in between.
Beyond the obvious, a sunburn is a visible reaction of the skin’s response to ultraviolet radiation, which are the invisible components of sunlight. In the interim, while you’re waiting for your red skin to turn a golden brown bronze, take note of the following home remedies that can help ease the temporary pain.
Step one to beat the burn involves using a compress. Since the skin is inflamed, dip a cloth into any of the following substances: cold water or aluminum acetate–mix Domeboro’s powder packets ($8.50, sold on amazon.com) with water. Another dipping sauce is called witch hazel, which has been shown to have beneficial long-lasting effects in regards to anti-inflammatory relief. TIP: use a fan directed towards the burn for intensified cooling.
Interestingly enough, some common kitchen staples can be great sunburn soothers: tea bags, for instance, can be applied to closed eyelids that have been soaked in cool water while simultaneously decreasing swelling and lessening pain. Another homemade remedy involves fat-free milk. Mix one cup of milk with four cups of water plus some ice cubes. Use this mixture to dip a compress in and apply to the burn.
The pantry contains remedies as well as the plants that may be growing right outside of your house. Medical evidence is suggesting that aloe vera may really help wound healing. To apply, break off a piece of a leaf and put on the burn. But test a small section on your skin first to make sure you’re not allergic to this succulent.
Here’s the deal: nobody wants to make their sunburn worse. So avoid soap for the time being–steer clear from bubble baths or soaking in soapy water and instead take a cool bath. Also, make sure to always pat the skin dry because rubbing a burn with a towel only heightens the irritation.
A last friendly reminder when dealing with the sun’s wrath is to moisturize. Since we were so kind to our skin and definitely had sunscreen in the equation...not…it’s best to apply for sunburn relief, so to speak. TIP: place your moisturizer in the fridge for a while for extra relief and cooling effect.
A sunburn is a real, relatable predicament that you (hopefully) don’t have to encounter too often. It only takes one really good sunburn to rekindle your love and appreciation for the white stuff. That goo with the SPF in it really knows what it’s doing, but if you find yourself (like I did today) with glowing red flesh, then don’t look further than the parameters of your house to find at-home, natural remedies to lessen the burn and sting. Happy suntanning (or burning in my case...)
Source: facts derived from Prevention.com